Hand-drawn typography

Here you’ll find examples of hand-drawn typography—from simple handwriting and script to more elaborate font-based and invented letterforms. The typographic work is often integrated into larger illustrations or photo-based series, though I am also interested in drawing letters that stand alone.


SEEING: 30 Hands-On Visual Discoveries was published earlier this month by Chronicle Books. Designed by MacFadden Thorpe, the book contains 30 hands (and eyes)-on activities based on popular Exploratorium exhibits. I was commissioned to create illustrations for 14 of the activities and hand-letter activity titles in English and Spanish.

It was fun drawing this rather eclectic group. It isn’t everyday that I’m asked to illustrate a dog jumping up and down on a pogo stick (which animates when spun). Or Mona Lisa disguised as a pirate (she’ll dress up in costume if you flip the card fast enough). If you’re interested in how the activities below work (or want to see the rest), consider purchasing the book—a great gift for curious geeks of all ages!

Seeing_WhirlingWatcherSeeing_HoleInHand Seeing_YellowerThanYellowSeeing_ColorContrastSeeing_HotDogFingerSeeing_FlipSticksSeeing_FastYellowSeeing_EyeballCamera      Seeing_FuzzyFadeOut   

The Exploratorium is a museum of science, art, and human perception located in San Francisco, California. The Exploratorium’s mission is to create a culture of learning through innovative environments, programs, and tools that help people nurture their curiosity about the world around them.

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I’m happy to share art for A Faith of Their Own, a new book authored by Chris Folmsbee. The cover is a mash-up of my photograph, illustration and hand-lettering—which I later reapplied to a companion guide and DVD. A Faith of Their Own will be published July 1, 2013 by Beacon Hill Press, an imprint of Nazarene Publishing House.


Nazarene Publishing House (NPH), founded in 1912, is the publishing arm of the Church of the Nazarene and is the largest publisher of Wesleyan-Holiness literature in the world. NPH prints more than 25 million pieces of literature each year, and processes more than 250,000 orders each year from more than 11,000 churches from many denominations.

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Sock monkeys to your podiums! A satirical look at the upcoming Presidential Debates—the first of which will be held next Wednesday, October 3, from 9-10:30 p.m. Eastern. Click on the illustration to enlarge.

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prAna’s Spring catalogs are out in the world and I’m now happy to share a few pages from them. The catalogs were designed by Elixir; my job was to provide embellishment: background textures, product name and headline typography, line art, and various border treatments.

“Having previously worked with Kyle and knowing what he is capable of artistically, I knew he was the perfect choice to illustrate our catalogs. This was a quick job and Kyle interpreted our ideas and executed a finished product that was right on the money. I highly recommend Kyle for any job that depends on strong narratives mixed with illustration and photography.”
—Christopher Hughes Barker, Senior Graphic Designer, prAna

Thanks for the kind words Chris. I’ll post a few pages of the Summer catalog on this blog once it gets released. If you’d prefer to receive a printed catalog in the mail, visit prana.com and get on the list (select “Email/Catalog Sign-Up” at bottom left, directly above the footer I recently illustrated).

You’ll find a few pieces of line art that were incorporated onto other pages of the Spring books after the jump. Read the rest of this entry »

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The current issue of Sportsnet Magazine includes my full-page illustration and hand-drawn headline for “Very Superstitious”. Shannon Proudfoot’s story delves into the superstitions of professional athletes—from Michael Jordan’s fealty toward his UNC shorts to Glenn Hall’s pre game ritual of vomiting before chugging a glass of orange juice—and how these rituals can actually improve performance.

A former ballplayer myself (way back when), I had fun concepting this particular illustration. I was never very superstitious and now realize this is probably the reason I never went pro… unless leading the team in strikeouts per at-bat precludes a call up. Whose to say? Download the pdf if you’d like to read the story or get the free Sportsnet iPad app to see the illustration animated.

“I hired Kyle almost immediately after coming across his website. We were running a story that was a tricky one to illustrate and his work seemed like the perfect mix for it. I loved what he came back with… everything—from the presented options to the final delivered files—was spot on. I highly recommend working with him if you get the chance.
—Myles McCutcheon, Photo Editor, Sportsnet Magazine

Sportsnet Magazine is a bi-weekly print magazine positioned for Canadian sports fans. Launched September 2011, the magazine is part of Rogers Communications and its national network of radio and television broadcasting, consumer magazines and business publications.

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prAna’s Spring 2012 line is now on-line and so is the website footer I recently created for them. The fern fronds were hand-drawn and “colored” using photographs. You’ll find the word “prana” not-too concealed, in keeping with the art of past seasons.

prAna is a 19-year-old clothing retailer based in southern California. Popular from the beginning with yoga and climbing communities, the line—pants, shirts, jackets, sweaters, dresses, hoodies… you name it—is a favorite of outdoor enthusiasts and others attracted to prAna’s bohemian style and sustainable messaging. You can find something for yourself at their stores in Boulder, Santa Barbara and Portland, online at prana.com, or at a host of retail partners around the world.

Look for more illustration completed for prAna’s Spring and Summer catalogs on the blog in coming weeks.


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Happy New Year! I had some fun with this illustration, a reimagining of six Midwestern states in the form of Australia (using actual boundary lines of Australia’s provinces). Photographs were taken in East Helena, Montana. Please click on the image to enlarge.

If you are into maps (as I am), check out Montpelier, another map-inspired project featuring a contiguous hand-drawn line over 46 photographs. Both projects are a mash up of photography and illustration, the real and the imagined.


My apologies to subscribers that were resent older posts late-December. My web host had a hard disk failure that resulted in posts getting resent (at time of failure and again upon restoration).

An experiment with layering and transparency. In this image, the Boy Scout Law was hand drawn, then cut from paper and layered over a photograph, behind lightbulbs.

I hope this finds everyone well post-Thanksgiving. I’ve been busy creating new drawings for prAna’s Spring and Summer ’12 apparel catalogs, as well as the February issue of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Magazine. And I relaunched my website earlier this month to better feature a portfolio of lettering, portraits, animals, and spot illustration. Stop by if you have time—I’d be honored if you’d take a look.


You will obtain your goal if you maintain your course is the sixth entry to a series featuring fortunes. Photographs were taken at Cato’s Ale House in Oakland, California, in 2011.


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